For Baltimore City’s young tech interns, it’s been a summer of code and careers

When Pass it on Executive director Willie sanders met with SmartLogic Leader Michel Castagnola and began to pitch the idea of ​​a high school internship program for Baltimore City students last spring, Sanders thought, “Maybe that will happen next year.”

After all, the city YouthWorks summer employment program was only a few months away from its launch. But with this effort involving technologists and entrepreneurs, the local community was quick to act. They signed 10 companies through an equity-driven labor coalition Baltimore tracks, has engaged with partners such as the Mayor’s Office for Employment Development and the organization of computer science education Code in schools, and launched a pilot internship program in May.

“To see it come together and see the support of organizations, government and the business community to make something like this happen in such a short time and be as successful as it has been – I” can’t wait to see it at scale, ”Sanders said.

He was speaking at an event Friday at a showcase to wrap up the six-week paid work experience, which featured a video showcase where the 12 students who completed an internship demonstrated their work.

He gave an overview of a variety of technical experiences that young people have had over the summer. They created websites in companies like venture studio Early charm and health IT company Bold investigation. They gained experience in backend programming with client server applications in a software prouct company TechSlice. They built chatbots at a software consulting firm The mind on the machines and worked on augmented reality games with Virtual balti.

These experiences are invaluable and a gateway to careers in technology that companies, which also included the local restaurant award app. Flave, technical agency Mindgrub, health analysis company Protenus and personality assessment company Treat, provide young people. The partners came together because they saw the value in giving young people the opportunity to experience a career in technology.

“There is so much you can teach in a classroom,” said Gretchen LeGrand, CEO of Code in Schools. “Nothing replaces on-the-job work experience. I have seen, in each of the young people who did an internship this summer, so much expansion of the spirit. They said, “Oh, this that’s what it’s like to work in software development, ”said LeGrand.

Young people love Javon gill, who interned at Mind Over Machines, had such a revelation.

Javon Gill presents what he learned during a summer technical internship. (Screenshot)

“What surprised me the most was just how far the technology advanced and how advanced it was, to the point where a person like me who had no experience could create a chatbot apart. whole in about two weeks, ”said Gill.

To the daring inquiry, Jodi ayree skills developed with Javascript. On the strength of this experience, she is already seeking to capitalize on it.

A look at Jodi Ayree’s JavaScript work (Screenshot)

“My next step is to expand my knowledge of JavaScript and use it to get more internships, post my resume and maybe get a scholarship,” Ayree said. “Or certainly [get a scholarship] because university debt is not in my future.


Donte Kirby is a 2020-2021 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-
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